Securing health insurance for the kids

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in child support on Thursday, January 10, 2019.

When defining “child support,” many in Jackson County may state that it is money paid to help cover a kid’s basic needs. Yet exactly what are those needs? Food, shelter and clothing are the basic ones that immediately come to mind, yet what about health care? It is easy to forget about the need for health care (or more specifically, health insurance) because people tend to only value it when it is needed. Given the high cost of care, however, it is easy to understand why the cost of health insurance is also considered when determining a child support obligation.

Many obtain their health insurance through group plans offered through their employers. While enrolling in such plans may be optional, it can become mandatory if and when one becomes involved in a child support dispute with their ex-spouse. Family courts will typically mandate that parents take advantage of any health insurance coverage available to them in order to insure their kids. They may also bypass the parents altogether with this mandate and go straight to their employers. Indeed, per the Missouri Department of Social Services, state law authorizes family courts to require employers to enroll an employee’s child in its group health plan (if said employee is obliged to do so through their child support agreement) and withhold the cost to cover insurance premiums from the employee’s wages.

Information shared by The Office of Child Support Enforcement shows that the request to enroll an employee’s child in a business’ health insurance plan comes in the form of a National Medical Support Notice. Upon receiving this notice, an employer must send it on to its plan administrator to initiate the child’s enrollment. Once word has been received. wage withholdings begin (medical insurance premiums are paid first of required by state law.

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